Monday, June 08, 2009

Prickly pear

I was surprised the first time I saw cactus growing in the wild here in the southeast. Outside of cactus gardens, it's not the kind of plant you tend to find in the suburbs. But it's a native in most eastern states.

This is Opuntia humifusa. The upright tall version is Opuntia stricta. There are three other prickly pears in Alabama: Opuntia austrina, Opuntia pusilla, and Opuntia monacantha. But only humifusa is in Blount county, and it's the only member of the cactus family that's native here.

My book says it grows in sandstone outcrops, limestone glades, and open, thin-soiled woods.


Phillip said...

That is very pretty. I'm always surprised to see cactus growing here too but I often see them. There is a house nearby and they have hugh cactuses growing. I'm always amazed. I would think it would be too wet for them here.

robin andrea said...

It is definitely surprising that cactus grows there. But I'm glad to see that they do, and produce such beautiful flowers.

Craig Glenn said...

Very nice Cactus! I want one!

Craig Glenn

countrypeapie said...

I'm not really a big cactus fan, but those flowers are really pretty. It's funny -- when I see them in people's yards around here, they always strike me as looking out of place. I'll have to work on shifting my cactus perspective.

Rurality said...

Phillip, I know what you mean. I think the tall ones are Opuntia stricta.

Robin, I love the red insides! Some of the species have plain yellow flowers I believe.

Craig, they're cool, huh?

Meg, I see the tall ones a lot around here in people's yards, but I'm not sure if they're really native to Blount Co or not. I only found this version in the record.

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